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Arts & Culture

15 Ways To Celebrate African American History Month in Houston

Get the most out of this year’s Black History Month with film, plays, panels and much more in the Houston area.

Macie Kelly/ Houston Public Media
Banner featuring current exhibits at the Houston Museum of African American Culture.

Every February, communities across the country celebrate African American History Month.

Houston's African American communities — an estimated 22.5% of the total population — have a rich history of arts and culture. Institutions like the Buffalo Soldier Museum and the Ensemble Theater Houston feature year-round shows and exhibitions honoring the contributions of black Americans.

If you're looking to learn more about black culture or celebrate the impact of the African American community both in Houston and internationally, here's a list of events you can attend this month.

  1. Apollo Chamber Players: The critically-acclaimed Apollo Chamber Players will be performing a piano quintet by African American composers Florence Price, Henry Thacker Burleigh and William Grant Still.
    • When: Wednesday
    • Where: The Barbara Bush Branch Library, 6817 Cypresswood Drive, Spring
    • Cost: Free
  2. Clayton Library Lecture Series: Lecturers Ari Wilkins and Sharon Gillins speak to genealogy and family history research in the African American community.
  3. Film Screenings Celebrating Black History Month: Every Saturday in February, Avenida Houston is showcasing outdoor screenings of films featuring, directed or written by prominent African Americans.
  4. Black and Blue: Cultural Oasis in the Hills: This ongoing exhibition features 15 collages by Dallas artist and curator Vicki Meek, showcasing African American history through artistic installations. Meek's work is also currently on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as well as the African American Museum in Dallas.
    • When: Through Feb. 29
    • Where: Community Artists Collective, 4101 San Jacinto St., Suite 116
    • Cost: Free
  5. Main Street Theater "Speak of me as I Am": A celebration of African American contributions to Shakespeare, the Main Street Theater brings Shakespearean
    actors like Ira Aldridge, Henrietta Vinton Davis and Paul Robeson back to life in an interactive live presentation for audiences of all ages.

    • When: Feb. 12
    • Where: Katherine Tyra Branch Library at Bear Creek, 16719 Clay Road
    • Cost: Free
  6. Black History Houston Culture Fest: This festival features live music performances from Kathy Taylor, Kyle Turner, Mary Griffin and more, as well as a shopping market, and reenactments and dramatizations from the Buffalo Soldier Museum.
    • When: Feb. 15
    • Where: On the Plaza at Avenida Houston, 1001 Avenida De Las Americas
    • Cost: Free
  7. Black History in the Making Bike Tour: Visit historic and iconic landmarks around the Third Ward community on a themed guided bike tour hosted by Black History in the Making and LetsDoThisHouston.
    • When: Feb. 16
    • Where: 2301 Elgin St.
    • Cost: $19-$29.50
  8. The West African Film Festival: The West African Film Festival showcases films by young African filmmakers, spanning a variety of topics like art, history and politics. The film festival takes place across the Houston area, with screenings in Alief and Pearland.
    • When: Feb. 24-29
    • Where: Various location throughout Houston
    • Cost: Free
  9. The Blue Triangle Quilt Guild: 20 in 20 Quilt Show: The Blue Triangle Quilt Guild promotes self expression through the historic art of quilt making, which plays a particularly important role in African American history. Special exhibits include an Underground Railroad Exhibit, as well as an “In Remembrance” exhibit.
    • When: Feb. 22
    • Where: Wendell Neal Memorial Family Life Center, 3505 Alice St.
    • Cost: $10 per person, children under 6 free
  10. Black Speculative Art Movement Houston Conference 2020: Perfect Vision: The Black Speculative Art Movement is a network of artists, creatives and intellectuals. Its 2020 Perfect Vision conference will focus on the future through community workshops and presentations.
    • When: Feb. 22
    • Where: Houston Museum of African American Culture, 4807 Caroline Street
    • Cost: Free-$50

      Entrance to the Houston Museum of African American Culture.
      Macie Kelly/ Houston Public Media
      Entrance to the Houston Museum of African American Culture.
  11. Bright Star Theater presents George Washington Carver & Friends: This show dives into the history of African American discoveries that have shaped the modern era. Targeted for children from pre-k to fifth grade, it introduces audiences to historic figures like George Washington Carver, Madam C.J. Walker, Jackie Robinson and Thurgood Marshall.
    • When: Feb. 22
    • Where: Maud Smith Marks Branch Library, 1815 Westgreen Boulevard, Katy
    • Cost: Free
  12. Boss: Black Experience in Business: The Houston Museum of African American Culture honors black culture year-round, through a variety of exhibits. Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson Jr. directs this documentary exploring African American entrepreneurship. Witness the hard work, dedication and grit that African American entrepreneurs like hair care mogul Madam C.J. Walker, or publisher John Johnson exhibited when establishing businesses in the era of Jim Crow.
  13. Name Dropping: A Black History Play: This play examines how labels played a role in African American discrimination, and the heavy past associated with those labels.
    • When: Feb. 29
    • Where: Above and Beyond Fellowship, 20498 Rhodes Road, Spring
    • Cost: $10 for kids ages. Adults pay $20
  14. Buffalo Soldier Museum: This museum honors African American soldiers' contributions to the military, as well as their touching stories through visual arts, educational programming and exhibitions.
    • When: Year-round
    • Where: Buffalo Soldier Museum, 3816 Caroline St.
    • Cost: Student, Senior and Military pay $5, all other adults pay $10. Children under 5 are free.
  15. Ensemble Theatre: With a focus on themes from black life, the Ensemble Theatre highlights African American art, with a mission to “preserve African American artistic expression and enlighten, entertain and enrich a diverse community.” Shows run throughout the year.
    • When: Year-round
    • Where: The Ensemble Theatre, 3535 Main St.
    • Cost: Prices start at $26